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Nov 25 / Marta Puskarz

Project 3: Fictional Letterform Poster/Final Reflection

The process of making the poster for Project 3 was a long and tedious one for me. I had fun making and photographing the letterform, but then we had to do 10 layout ideas for a poster about the process we went through to make our letterform. I was so stuck, everything coming to my mind was so boring and uncreative. It didn’t help that we had so many restrictions on what we could do (no diagonal text, no color blocks except the one that had to take up 1/3rd of the page etc). Here were some of my initial trials:


Then I chose several that I liked best, and worked on them further:


After a lot of revising and playing around with layout, grid, and color, this is the final poster:


I think I actually enjoyed this project the most so far, and I think it helped me retain the most information about characteristics of typeface families. I almost wish we had done the first analyzing portion for all the families, because it really helped me zoom in on what is important. Drawing out the characteristics and letters was also really helpful because it made me more aware of the typeface. Experimenting with the letters –cutting and pasting them together –was also helpful, because it made me aware of not only letter characteristics, but also how the parts come together, including the specific angles and proportions of the letterforms.

I also learned a lot about grid structure when organizing my poster. I hadn’t really used a grid when designing before, and it really helped me. I used to just place everything wherever I thought it looked good, but now I was looking at what lines up correctly, and subtly aligning different elements on the poster. It really makes a difference when you’re looking at a poster that has an underlying grid structure –it looks more cohesive and there is a certain unity that arises from the use of a grid. At first the poster was really frustrating for me. There were many constraints that we had to follow and it made it really hard for me to design! The fact that we could only use one block of color and only 3 colors was a big challenge for me. It was also very difficult because there was a lot of information to put into the poster, it was hard to decide which parts of the process to include. I found it easiest and best to organize the process into 3 steps: analyze, experiment, and finalize. Using these 3 steps, it was much easier to organize the poster and add information/pictures as I went. I made sure to focus on how the letterform fit into the typeface Didot and what modern characteristics it had that make it modern! I isolated several characteristics which helped my letter fit into the modern typeface: dramatic stroke variation, rounded terminals, flat thin serifs, and a vertical axis. Overall, this project was very helpful for me technique-wise. I learned a lot about the modern typeface family, and letterforms. It was also interesting to treat my letterform as an image/graphic in my poster. I also got a lot of practice with poster layout and using a grid structure. Even though it was tedious, and got a little frustrating, I think going through the process of designing so many different versions of the poster really helped me achieve a better final product!